Ex-Viacom President Frank Biondi gets some pretty hard shots in Sumner Redstone's upcoming autobiography, A Passion To Win.
Media executives were aghast when Redstone fired widely respected Biondi in 1995, because the pair had seemed to operate so well together. In Redstone's take, Biondi "was not a negotiator" and "consistently appeared to resent any idea, agenda, or scenario that had not originated with him." The deal-breaker came when Biondi supposedly balked at a $1.2 billion arrangement to license movies to European broadcaster Kirsch and stalked out of a meeting. Redstone contended that "we sat there in disbelief." Biondi, of course, has a much different version of the rift.
As for other media players, Rupert Murdoch is "not a great negotiator, he overpaid for everything." John Malone is "one of the smartest men" in media, but avaricious. Ted Turner doesn't "possess the killer instinct that was so clearly present in John Malone (That's a compliment to Turner.) Check bookstores in June. - John Higgins